Posts Tagged ‘5-14-2017’

Living Tabernacles 5-14-2017

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

As I read the second reading today, some words stay with me. “You too” (that means all of us). You too – are living stones built as an edifice of spirit.
These words reminded me that we are the church – not this fantastic building that many of you and others worked so hard to create. This building is a very special place for the church to gather. We are very different people, with different backgrounds, talents, personalities, life experiences, and cultures. We are the church. Words we have heard before. Fairly simple words, but they need to be said over and over again. They need to be believed and lived.
I have been in some beautiful churches and cathedrals and have found many of them cold and lifeless. I have been in a parish church that was an old barn (their church building had burned down). In that barn there was life, spirit, energy, variety and warmth. There was real church because of the people – the living stones.
When we come to this building that houses us the church – most of us get very reverent. We genuflect, bow to the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle as a sign of our respect. I believe this is a good thing to do. It is part of who we are. But my question to all of us as church tonight/today is this.
How reverent are we, how respectful are we to the living tabernacles right next to us? This tabernacle is made of some type of metal. It holds for us Catholics the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus. I believe and respect that, but I also believe that every human being is a living flesh and blood container of God – a human tabernacle.
That person in our family that we find very difficult right now (you know that person) has God in them. That person that drives everyone crazy at school or work has God in them.
That person, who is homeless, who is from another country and taking some of our jobs, who is dying of AIDS, whose values are totally opposite of mine, has God living in them.
How respectful? How reverent are we to these living tabernacles – these containers of God – that we rub elbows with everyday. A little respect, a little reverence, can do some pretty powerful things.
A businessman in a hurry plunked down a dollar into the cup of a man selling flowers and rapidly went his way. Half a block down the street, he turned around and made his way back to the poor flower seller. “I’m sorry,” he said picking out his favorite flower. “In my haste I failed to make my purchase. After all, you are a businessman just like myself. Your flowers are fairly priced and of good quality. I trust you won’t be upset with my forgetting to pick out my purchase.” With that he smiled and quickly went on his way again.
A few weeks later, while at lunch, a neatly dressed, handsome man approached the businessman’s table and introduced himself. “I’m sure you don’t remember me, and I don’t even know your name, but your face I will never forget. You are the man who inspired me to make something of myself. I was a vagrant selling flowers on a street corner until you gave me back my self-respect and a sense of dignity. Now I believe I am a businessman, too.”
A little respect, a little reverence for the living tabernacles all around us can do some pretty powerful things.